Review Index:

Mainstream Graphics: FX5700U vs Radeon 9600XT

Manufacturer: NVIDIA

Game Tests: Age of Mythology, Freelancer

Age of Mythology: The Titans

"The Titans" is Ensemble's expansion to the successful Age of Mythology game. The new addition features an entirely new civilization to play along with a twist of being able to conjure a titan. For this test, I have created a Scenario using the Alfheim map and placed about opposing 80 units on 3 teams in the middle of the map and let them slug it out. Just for fun, I put a Titan and Cronos in there to make things interesting.

Game Configuration
Color Depth 32 bits
Effects (i.e. foot prints) All enabled
Anisotropic Filtering and Anti-aliasing Disabled

The Asus Radeon 9600XT is slightly better than the NVIDIA FX5700 Ultra by a few FPS in general with the exception being 4x8 on 1600x1200. At this setting, we see the FX5700 Ultra drop drastically in performance whereas the Radeon 9600XT maintains a playable 41.6 FPS. Why the FX5700 Ultra would drop to such poor levels is beyond me, but we do know it also happens on the FX5600 Ultra (see our FX5700 Ultra review). Generally however, the FX5700 Ultra and the Radeon 9600XT are nearly equally matched.



Freelancer is still very popular amoung space sim and action fans alike. There's an amazing story and some intense dogfights, but too bad it ended so quickly. For this test, I've chosen the final mission of Freelancer as my "benchmark" level as it contains the largest amount of targets in any of the missions in the game.

Game Configuration
Level of Detail Maximum (HUD animations, effects, etc.)

The Asus Radeon 9600XT performs very well in this game and puts about 30 FPS more than the FX5700 Ultra at 1024x768. Like in the Age of Mythology tests, at 1600x1200 we see the FX5700 Ultra drop drastically in performance with 4xAA and 8xAF compared to 0xAA and 0xAF. Coincidentally, the highest FPS the FX5700 Ultra displays in this game also happens to be the average FPS of the Asus Radeon 9600XT.

However, even though the Radeon 9600XT is the clear winner here, the FX5700 Ultra still manages to play this game well. The biggest slow-down I experienced when using the FX5700 Ultra was during large explosions or when there were big flashes of light. At these points, the FX5700 Ultra slows down to a crawl with 10FPS or lower. The Asus Radeon 9600XT played more smoothly even during same explosions that slow down the FX5700 Ultra.


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